June is made of such things

A year ago today I was here, Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar

A year ago today I was here, Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar

June always surprises me. It’s almost never June, and then all of a sudden that’s what the calendars say, but just long enough to read the word before the page flops again.


Not like October, which lingers a little longer than it’s supposed to, because really: who’s going to stop it? Or January, a jerk of a month that steals at least a week from everyone around it. But both bow to March, a leviathan epoch that stretches like Purgatory and won’t let you go until your soul has almost given up hope…


Noodle soup in Myanmar, Nyaung ShweBut then it does, let go, eventually. And you find yourself in the renewal of April, which exists in nearly proper parameters. May is real too, though it only lasts six days. But June? June is a single perfect evening. It’s the Saturday BBQ that goes better than you expected, that’s June. That one square on the calendar, where the dogs are smiling, your friends are happy to see you, and the food tastes perfect in soft air. June is made of optimism, and flits away from the light of day.


Young monks in the Myanmar countryside

Young monks in the Myanmar countryside

July? July is a myth, a conspiracy so they can charge more for calendars. My passport says I was born in a July, but I know better; you can’t be born in a rumor. No, when you think it’s July, it’s already August, a month that lasts a week of ten days as you prepare and resign yourself…


So you and I had better enjoy June while it lasts. And it’s now. Right now. Go check. Today AND tomorrow. And to my further surprise, this June-sliver has somehow encompassed so much, like a defeated nation regaining long-lost territory, and they tell me we’re only halfway.


Our guide kept telling us about "mountain cats" and then laughed uproariously as he pointed to these.

Our guide kept telling us about “mountain cats” and then laughed uproariously as he pointed to these.

May echoed with the concrete cracks of falling walls, as the life I thought I was building fell apart, and June popped open in the pause of silence when only the dust was still moving. But it hasn’t stayed silent. It’s already included so many words, from “the rent is twice what you’re paying now” to “that unit has already been rented.” But those have been balanced by “nice to meet you”, or even better: “so good to see you!” and “it’s been too long!” The dust of demolition smells more like woodsmoke in the evening and maple syrup in the morning, now.


Those things I lost in May? The house, the girl, the work situation, the life trajectory? Things are…on their way, on the mend, on the way up. I should hear about an apartment soon. I have articles to write, contacts to convert into friends, and the chance to work with/for people who are made entirely of congealed light and concentrated joy. And the girl? There is health there, reason to smile, a deep sense of progress both internal and external, and cause for optimism.


And, after all, June is made of optimism.